Victoria is Australia’s state of defence industry excellence. Renowned for its advanced manufacturing, world-class research and development, and its highly skilled defence industry workforce, Victoria has proven expertise in delivering complex defence projects.
Defence technology has been identified by the Victorian Government as one of seven priority industries that will drive Victorian economic growth and jobs. In 2016, the Victorian Government released a Defence Technologies Sector Strategy outlining its plan for future growth. This strategic direction is provided by the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.
Victoria’s defence sector is an important part of the State's economy, contributing up to $8 billion annually. The sector employs around 18,500 people and has more than 770 businesses, which make equipment and provide services for defence activities.
Victoria’s thriving defence industry is critical to Australia’s national defence capability and Australia’s alliance relationships. Through strategic investment in facilities, industry skills, research and development, Victoria has developed significant expertise in delivering major defence platforms and capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force.
Victoria’s capabilities match global defence industry needs in areas spanning information and communication technology (ICT) systems; cyber technologies; managing the interface between human and digital systems; robotics, aerospace and unmanned aerial systems; medical counter measures; defence infrastructure; professional services; science and research and advanced manufacturing technologies.
A robust and responsive local supply chain network strengthens Australia’s national security and plays a vital role in building and sustaining multiple defence platforms. The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, including the Victorian Defence Procurement Office in Geelong, provides dedicated support to the Victorian defence industry and assists companies seeking to secure domestic and global supply chain opportunities.
Victoria is the natural home for the design, development and manufacture of military vehicles, with Thales’ Bushmaster already manufactured in Bendigo. Thales has also been awarded a $1.3 billion contract for 1,100 Hawkei vehicles and trailers, demonstrating that Victoria is well placed to deliver LAND 400 and other land vehicle defence programs.
Victoria also has substantial engineering and R&D capabilities and is the home of the engineering and design centres for Supacat and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles.
Victoria has world-class maritime R&D, design and engineering capabilities and experience in naval shipbuilding dating back to the 1940s. Over 300 Victorian companies contribute to the construction and support supply chains for naval ships and submarines, supplying expertise in design and construction, communication and control systems, engines and propulsion, fluid dynamics, materials testing, systems integration and engineering, ICT, intelligent systems design, and advanced visualisation tools.
With the largest shipbuilding and submarine program in the nation’s history underway, Victorian maritime businesses are ready to play key roles to help deliver these projects successfully.
Over the past decade, Victorian companies have been awarded 65 percent by value of all work allocated to Australia for the global F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project, demonstrating Victoria’s ability to provide cutting-edge military technology in global supply chains. Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $1.2 billion contract to provide a new pilot training system at RAAF East Sale. Pilot training will contribute $2 billion to the Victorian economy and create more than 500 jobs.
Victoria has globally competitive capabilities in digital technologies, cyber security and data services. The state is home to the largest cyber security cluster in Australia, including the Oceania Cyber Security Centre and the CSIRO’s DATA61 Cyber Security and Innovation Hub.
The Victorian Government has also secured agreements to work with global research powerhouses, including oxford University’s Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre, Israel’s Tel Aviv University and the Commonwealth of Virginia, the biggest defence state in the US.
Victoria brings together the world’s best and brightest minds in defence research and development. Supported by a world-class tertiary education sector, Victoria is home to globally renowned research institutes and organisations.
Defence technology research is undertaken by Victoria’s tertiary institutions, often in collaboration with the Department of Defence, industry and other national and international institutions. The Defence Science Institute, Defence Materials Technology Centre, elements of the Defence Science and Technology Group, and the Australian Manufacturing and Materials precinct are all based in Melbourne.
With so many facilities in one state, Victoria is the nation’s hub for clever thinking and specialist defence knowledge.
Victoria is the nation’s top resource in the design and production of munitions, military pyrotechnics and electronic warfare systems. Key projects include the Nulka Active Missile Decoy, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile System, counter-improvised explosive device systems, and explosive ordinance disposal.
The Victorian Government’s Defence Industry eNewsletter keeps decision makers and Australia’s defence industry informed about the latest news and developments in Victoria’s defence sector.